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Strawberry Fields Forever: Summer Strawberry Recipes

 

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You know that summer is almost here when the produce section starts stocking better looking berries, and it’s always a thrill for me to welcome the long strawberry season.  Flavorful, versatile and nutritious, strawberries are one of the most well-liked fruits in the United States and perhaps the most popular of all the berries.  In addition to their sweet juicy flavor and gorgeous crimson color, strawberries are packed with fiber and potassium and have the most Vitamin C of any berry, all at only 25 calories per half cup.

Strawberries have been known since the time of the Greeks and Romans, and cultivation of strawberries began around 1624.  Commercial growing in North America began about 1800 on the east coast of the United States.  Strawberries moved west with the pioneers and now there are more than seventy varieties of strawberries, many of which are grown in California and Florida.  Nowadays the fruit is usually available year round, but peak season is from April to July, when strawberries are welcomingly inexpensive.

Many people love to transform their strawberry crop into chunky preserves or perhaps make simple but flavorful fruit soups.  I love to bring out strawberry’s international side, specifically with a slant towards the Italian.  Take bruschetta, for instance:  this traditional Italian appetizer consists of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with chopped tomatoes, basil and extra virgin olive oil.  With a little imagination, I have spun the traditional bruschetta into a new dessert, Fresh Strawberry Bruschetta.   I have also made a variation of the panna cotta, the traditional creamy eggless Italian custard, and of course strawberries are the star here as well.

Pair one or both of these sweet strawberry desserts with a light Italian fish or pasta meal and create new refreshing summer traditions in your home.   Buon appetito!

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About Rachelle Ferneau

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Rachelle Ferneau is pastry chef, chocolatier and owner of Dear Coco Chocolate which specializes in globally-inspired, premium artisan dark chocolate truffles and toffee chocolate bars designed to transport you around the world through chocolate. Dear Coco chocolates are all natural, vegan/beegan, dairy free, gluten free, certified kosher pareve and 100% handcrafted in small batches without corn syrup, trans fats or preservatives. Please visit www.DearCoco.com for more information and to be in touch with Rachelle leave a comment here.

 

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3 Responses to Strawberry Fields Forever: Summer Strawberry Recipes

  1. avatar says: SarahEats

    When I was younger I grew strawberries in our back yard – I think I would love to start this again, so I could have fresh berries to use for these recipes. Can we substitute other seasonal berries in these recipes?

  2. avatar says: Sa Ne

    Is frozen strawberries good instead of fresh?
    http://thehealthyway.myshaklee.com

  3. To answer both your questions: the panna cotta can be made with frozen strawberries as well as other seasonal berries (adjust the amount of sugar to taste). You may need to strain out the seeds of some berries so your custard stays smooth. The bruschetta does require fresh strawberries, both for their texture and for their ability to release liquid when they are macerated. These recipes are delicious and refreshing — enjoy!

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